This is a special time in the history of Sparta wrestling. Over the last three years, the Spartans have seen 12 wrestlers accumulate 19 state tournament berths. Of the 13 berths over the last two years, seven ended with Spartans on the podium. This year’s team will look to keep up the pace, but they will face some stiff competition along the way. Let’s look at what each Spartan will be facing.
113 – Christian Lamon, 32-10, Wisconsin Wrestling Online
Honorable Mention Ranked 9th
Freshman Christian Lamon will be making his first trip to the Kohl Center and is just among five Spartan freshman in the last 20 years to qualify for state, but among four in the past three years to qualify. He will join fellow freshman Jaden Winchel in making his state tournament debut. Up first for Lamon is Campbellsport freshman Bennett Marchant (28-13). Marchant was unranked in the last Wisconsin Wrestling Online rankings while Lamon has been an honorable mention for awhile. Marchant was a regional champion and sectional runner-up. The regional championship was the first individual title of the season for the Campbellsport freshman who also placed second at the Eastern Wisconsin Conference tournament, 4th at the Rocket Scramble, 7th at the Badger State Invite, 2nd at the Viking Invitational and 5th at the Campbellsport Cougar Invite.
Lamon has already wrestled Marchant once this year at the Badger State Invite. Christian won that match 4-2 in the consolation semifinals. If Lamon repeats what he did at Badger State, he will face Wrightstown senior Dillan Micke (41-7). Micke is currently ranked third in division two at 113 pounds and was a state qualifier at 106 last year, but didn’t place. At state last year, he lost to Lodi’s Jason Clapper 6-4 while Lamon fell to Clapper by technical fall in the 2nd place match at sectionals.
126 – John Roddick, 40-8, Ranked 4th by Wisconsin Wrestling Online
Junior John Roddick will face off with New London freshman Scott Cook in his first match at the state tournament. Cook was a regional champion then placed third at sectionals and is currently ranked as an honorable mention by WWO. Earlier in the year, John Roddick defeated Mineral Point’s Frank Baker 3-1. Cook met Baker at the Northern Exposure and lost 8-3. If Roddick gets past Cook, he will face 5th-ranked Delaven-Darien senior Cody Chelminiak (40-4). Chelminiak was a state qualifier last year at 126, but did not place. At state that year, he lost 5-0 to Cuba City/Southwestern’s JJ Donar who defeated Roddick in the closing seconds of the sectional final on Saturday. Mutual opponents between Roddick and Chelminiak include Spring Valley/Elmwood’s Tyler Berg. Roddick defeated Berg 2-1 early in the season and lost to him by pin in 3:19 at the Ellsworth Invitational while Berg pounded Chelminiak 8-3 in the middle of January.
132 – Jaden Winchel, 35-13, Ranked 12th by Wisconsin Wrestling Online
The other freshman state qualifier for Sparta, Jaden Winchel, will see East Troy junior Ryan Engel (36-10) in his first match at state. Currently an honorable mention according to WWO, Engel was a state qualifier last year, but did not place. John Roddick has also wrestled Engel in the past. In John’s first state tournament match as a freshman, he defeated Engel 4-0. Mutual opponents include Evansville/Albany’s Jordan Meyer who neither fared too well against. Engel lost 8-0 in the finals of his conference meet while Winchel fell 14-4 in his opening match at sectionals. If Winchel defeats Engel, he will face Wrightstown junior Josh Verbeten (35-15). Verbeten caught Brock Polhamus and won by pin in 57 seconds earlier this year at the Cheesehead.
138 – Brock Polhamus, 40-7, Ranked 4th by Wisconsin Wrestling Online
Brock Polhamus was one of Sparta’s two sectional champions so his first opponent is yet to be determined. Polhamus will not wrestle on Thursday, but will await the winner of a match between Luxemburg-Casco’s Mason Berceau (34-8, ranked 5th) and Pewaukee’s Garret Shibilski (37-10, honorable mention). Berceau was a state qualifier last year at 126, but did not place. Berceau defeated River Valley’s Elijah Alt by pin in 1:35 at the Battle on the Bay and beat him 10-6 at Badger State. Jaden Winchel pinned Alt last weekend in 5:09 in the 3rd place sectional match. Berceau also won 9-6 over Wrightstown’s Josh Verbeten, who awaits Jaden Winchel if he wins his first match. Both Polhamus and Berceau lost to Mineral Point’s Ross Siegenthaler. Polhamus was pinned in 2:46 at Badger State while Berceau was pinned in 2:49 at the same tournament. At Bi-State, Berceau placed 9th and defeated Cuba City/Southwestern’s Josh Donar 4-2. Polhamus defeated Donar 2-1 in the sectional finals.
There is also Pewaukee’s Shibilski, but I can’t find too much on him. He won three tournaments this year, which include regionals, his conference tournament and home tournament and finished third at sectionals.
145 – Dylan Winchel, 26-16, Ranked 8th by Wisconsin Wrestling Online
Dylan Winchel opens up action against Oconto Falls’ Dewey Krueger (38-2, currently ranked #1 by WWO). Krueger fell 3-0 in the sectional finals to Southern Door’s Jacob Englebert. Winner of five tournaments this year, Krueger is a defending state champion at 132 pounds. Krueger pinned possible Polhamus opponent Mason Berceau in the finals of the Battle on the Bay last season in 1:54. Common opponents include Eau Claire North’s Cody Stolt. Winchel pinned Stolt in 4:43 in the opening match of the Sparta Invite while Krueger pinned Stolt in 2:39 at the Northern Exposure. If Winchel can take down the defending state champion, he will face Luck/Frederic/Grant junior Tristan Brewer (41-3) in the quarterfinals.
220 – Logan Degenhardt, 38-9, Ranked
6th 5th by Wisconsin Wrestling Online
As Sparta’s second sectional champion, Degenhardt will await the winner of Wisconsin Lutheran’s Bryce Roberts (34-7, unranked) and Osceola’s Victor Lowney (32-9, unranked). I couldn’t find much on either Roberts or Lowney so we will look ahead at the rest of Degenhardt’s bracket. If Degenhardt wins his quarterfinal match on Friday, he would likely face Luxemburg-Casco senior Luke Destiche who is the top ranked wrestler at 220 in division two and is currently ranked 19th nationally by InterMat Wrestling. A defending state champion at 220, mutual opponents between Degenhardt and Destiche include Mineral Point’s Brenyn Schmit. Degenhardt lost to Schmit 7-0 at Badger State and 5-1 in the Wisconsin Dells Duals Classic while Destiche defeated Schmit 5-1 in the finals of the same tournament. Each also faced Logan’s Calvin Wright. Degenhardt defeated Wright 3-1 in overtime in their dual back in December while Destiche pinned Wright in 2:12 at the Bi-State Classic.
Other area teams
- Aquinas – two qualifiers. They include Nick Burns and Jordan Corcoran.
- Brookwood – one qualifier. Calvin Marriott.
- Cashton – one qualifier. Brandon Schmitz.
- Holmen – five qualifiers. They include Ryan Stalsberg, Duncan McKinney, Noah Risch, Charles Serauskas and Hunter Hauser.
- La Crosse Central – three qualifiers. They include Jaden VanMaanen, Ben Thornton and Connor Williams.
- Mauston – three qualifiers. Chris Ruf, Spencer Davies and Justin Dolata.
- Melrose-Mindoro/GET – one qualifier. Cole Rossow.
- North Crawford/Seneca – one qualifier. Noah Brown.
- Onalaksa – one qualifier. Yes, I said Onalaska. For the first time in a long time, the Hilltoppers are sending a wrestling to Madison. At 113 pounds, Tyler Woods qualified.
- Royall – one qualifier. Dalton Lunde
- Tomah – one qualifier. Jordan Reisinger.
- Viroqua – one qualifier. JJ McClelland.
- West Salem/Bangor – four qualifiers. They include Devin Bahr, Brandon Bahr, Nick Buisman and Aaron Broer.
- Westby – three qualifiers. Brett Cade, Ross Withington and Chase Nottestad.
As you can see, Sparta stands above the rest of the area teams when it comes to state qualifiers. Only Holmen comes close and they have five. Around the rest of the state, the following teams will be sending six or more wrestlers to the Kohl Center: Amery (7), Bay Port (8), Boyceville (6), Cedarburg (8), Coleman (7), East Troy (6), Ellsworth (12), Kaukauna (7), Lancaster (6), Menomonee Falls (7), Merrill (7), Pewaukee (6), Pulaski (6), Random Lake (9), Stratford (6). Yes, you read that right. Ellsworth is sending 12 wrestlers to the state tournament. That means only two of their weight classes won’t be represented at the state tournament. If that’s not a state record, it’s pretty close.